NORRISTOWN — Montgomery County Commissioners started off Thursday's meeting by recognizing the Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library.

The library was recently honored by the Pennsylvania Library Association for achieving the PA Forward gold star status.

"The idea of the gold star and the program is to help libraries all speak with the same voice and describe things in the same way," said Karen DeAngelo, district consultant librarian. "They identified five kinds of literacy and asked us to perform some different tasks to share with people all kinds of information about the literacy."

DeAngelo's comments were followed by a recap of the May 21 primary election, specifically addressing some of the questions voters came across while using the new voting system.

"Montgomery County voters had used the same exact system for 22 years so the switch to an entirely new system was obviously an enormous undertaking. Overall, considering the size of the task and the number of people involved in implementing a new system I was pleased with how the introduction of the new system went," said Lee Soltysiak, chief operating officer for Montgomery County and chief of the election board.

"We have received a lot of useful feedback from poll workers and voters on the experiences they had. A majority of those issues raised related to consistency of poll worker training, voter education and also polling place logistics," he said. 

Soltysiak went through a list of commonly asked questions about the new system and addressed some of the concerns Thursday.

Soltysiak said the board is working on a plan to address common issues and will communicate to poll workers and voters between now and the general election about how they will respond. 

Resolutions

Commissioners approved eight resolutions Thursday starting with a grant application to the Department of Community and Economic Development for emergency solutions grant funding. The grant application is for $186,000 that will go toward supporting the county's Your Way Home program, aimed at rehousing homeless individuals.

Commissioners additionally approved amendments to the 2017 and 2018 Annual Action Plans. The amendments are related to finalizing financing to the Susie Clemens Housing project. Commissioners also approved an advertisement of the 2019 Annual Action Plan and proposed changes to the 2015 and 2017 Annual Action Plans and the 2019 Human Services Block Grant Allocations.

Matt Edmond, Section Chief of Transportation Planning presented resolutions to commissioners concerning authorization to enter into a contract supplement with Pennoni Engineering for the Ridge Pike Project. The project includes the rehabilitation of the bridge over Norfolk Southern Railroad east of Belvoir Road. 

"The project had always entertained and believed that the best way to replace that bridge would be to replace the super structure, the top of the bridge, and to leave the abutments there as a way to save the county money in the long run," said Edmond. "But about two years ago we realized the abutments were not in as good of shape as we thought them to be previously when we made those decisions."

Edmond explained a redesign of the bridge is now necessary. Edmond also noted that a decision to reuse storm sewers underneath Regal Drive in Plymouth Township to Chemical Road also had to be changed. 

"After scoping them out we realized that they were just OK and again the project team felt that a wise use of public money would be to replace them to get a good 50 years or so out of the storm sewer and not 25," said Edmond. 

The supplement for the contractor calls for a price of $436,599.70

Additionally, Edmond presented a resolution to enter into a PennDOT reimbursement agreement for the Ridge Pike Project. 

The sixth resolution presented to commissioners on Thursday was an agreement regarding the transfer of the King Road Bridge to Salford Township. The agreement would return the bridge back to the township after the county completes a rehabilitation project on the structure. The township would then assume all maintenance costs moving forward. 

Commissioners also approved reappointments to the Prison Board of Inspectors as well as to the Youth Center Board.

Awards of Contract

Thirteen awards of contract we announced at Thursday's meeting:

  • A contract renewal for Public Safety for maintenance to West SAfety Solutions Corp. in the amount of $48,253.
  • A contract renewal for Public Safety  for a record management system to Computer Square Inc. in the amount of $252,150
  • Contract award for the District Attorney's Office for a vehicle to Apple Chevrolet in the amount of $33,722.15
  • Contract award for Public Safety for a vehicle to Whitmoyer Auto Group in the amount of $34,900 
  • Contract award for ITS for equipment to E. Thomas Brett Business Machines Inc. in the amount of $27,790.50
  • Contract amendment for Assets & Infrastructure for installation services to ThinkGreen LLC in the amount of $57,038.46
  • Contract Amendment for Assets & Infrastructure for engineering to Michael Baker International in the amount of $27,300.
  • Two contracts, three contract renewals and five amendments for Health and Human Services
  • Contract renewal for the Southeast Regional Task Force for mass notification services to Everbridge Inc. in the amount of $775,275.25
  • Contract award for Southeast Regional Task Force for conference catering to Upper Dublin Township in the amount of $25,000
  • Contract amendment for the Southeast Regional Task Force for architectural services to Manns Woodward Studio
  • Contract amendment for the Southeast Regional Task Force for a consultant with Manns Woodward Studio  

Commissioner Joe Gale called for a roll-call vote on a contract renewal for Assets & Infrastructure for a consultant to McCormick Taylor in the amount of $720,000.

"This is an optional annual renewal for our contract with McCormick Taylor, an engineering firm to assist the county with management of our county roads and bridges. I'm not fully satisfied with the performance of McCormick Taylor over the years, particularly with the timeliness of their performance and their work-related duties," said Gale. 

Commissioners Val Arkoosh and Ken Lawrence voted in favor of the contract renewal. Gale voted against the contract renewal. 

Additionally, Gale commented on a contract amendment for Assets & Infrastructure with ThinkGreen.

"I'll vote for this contract amendment simply because it's required by state law but I'd like to point out and have this on the record that it's an example of how prevailing wage rates increase costs of construction drastically, in this case for a playground at one of our historic sites," said Gale. "This is an example that our state legislators should highly consider prevailing wage reforms because it will save taxpayers money."

comments powered by Disqus